Giants could wait for Miller to heal

Updated: May 3, 2005, 12:05 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

In light of last week's hip surgery that will sideline Jim Miller for 3-4 months, the New York Giants continue to deliberate their options for a veteran quarterback to serve as the backup to first-year starter Eli Manning.

Vinny Testaverde
Quarterback
Dallas Cowboys
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Att Comp PaTD RuTD Int Rat
495 297 17 1 20 76.4

One of the alternatives not under consideration, however, is Vinny Testaverde.

Team officials made it clear that Testaverde, 41, is not on their radar screen. And there is no evidence to suggest that Testaverde, who started 15 games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2004 and is currently an unrestricted free agent, was ever a factor in discussions over how to best address the potential vacancy on the depth chart.

The team's first choice, Doug Flutie, turned down a contract proposal last Friday, after a Thursday audition for New York coaches, and signed with New England instead.

One option that appears to be gaining momentum is to delay any action on Miller, who underwent surgery last Wednesday to repair a torn hip labrum, and to closely monitor his rehabilitation. Miller visited a specialist in Michigan on Monday and will be examined by the Giants medical staff later this week.

There is some feeling, agent Joe Linta said, that Miller, 34, could return to the field some time in training camp, and that he certainly will be recovered by the start of the regular season. Signed in early March, the journeyman Miller, whose career has been plagued by injuries the past three years, has already assimilated the Giants playbook.

Had the Giants signed Flutie, it is likely that they would have either negotiated an injury settlement with Miller or placed him on one of the league's various reserve lists. Since the Giants don't appear interested in any of the veteran quarterback who are still trying to land jobs, they may be more inclined to retain Miller for now, and wait to see if any more quarterbacks become available after June 1, when teams normally release some players.

In the wake of Flutie's decision to sign with the Patriots, it was widely speculated that the Giants would turn to Testaverde, the much-traveled 18-year veteran. While there was one brief conversation with agent Mike Azzarelli, the Giants did not offer Testaverde a job, and may not have even indicated much interest in him.

It is not known if Testaverde wants to continue his career or under what circumstances he would consider a contract offer. Azzarelli said that he has spoken to several teams about his client but acknowledged a deal with the Giants will not occur. Testaverde has thrown for nearly 45,000 yards in his career.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.